Football

Former national team star Freddy Gonzalez joins Loyola Meralco Sparks

AKTV/Toto Gamboa

AKTV/Toto Gamboa

United Football League squad Loyola Meralco Sparks has signed former national team striker Freddy Gonzalez, forming a deadly scoring duo with Azkals star Phil Younghusband.

Sparks president Randy Roxas said that the addition of Gonzalez, now 34, will boost their offense, which has long relied on Younghusband.

“Freddy will give us more attacking options and can help diffuse or counter our opponents’ defensive concentration on Phil,” Roxas told InterAKTV.

Gonzalez, who played for the national team and had stints in Europe and Southeast Asia, returned to action last season after a four-year retirement, helping newcomer Pachanga FC in its promotion to Division One. He also won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot trophies in Division Two after scoring 34 goals – the most in the league, in either division.

But before the 2012 UFL Cup season started, Pachanga, which Gonzalez also owns, was sold to a group associated with Diliman Victory Liner FC, disassembling the core of the squad which dominated Division Two last season.

After finishing second behind Loyola in the group stages of the Cup, Pachanga lost to the Green Archers United Globe in the quarterfinals.

Gonzalez will join the star-studded lineup of Loyola, which boasts of former and current national team mainstays led by Phil and James Younghusband, Ref Cuaresma and Chad Gould, among others.

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